Mundie Moms

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chat LIVE with James Dashner TONIGHT @ 8 pm EST! #DashnerDash

The Dashner Dash Binge Read has come to an end, and TONIGHT fans can join James Dashner has he chats about The Maze Runner! The fun starts at 8 pm EST / 7 pm CST. Join the chat, sponsored by Random House KidsHERE.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

EMPIRE OF DUST by Eleanor Herman / Blog Tour: Book Review / Giveaway

Hello and welcome to today's blog tour stop for EMPIRE OF DUST! The newest release, and the second book in Eleanor Herman's Blood of Gods and Royals series. After you read my review, be sure to check out the giveaway and enter to win!


By: Eleanor Herman
Published by: Harlequin Teen
To Be Released on: June 28th, 2016
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Ibooks | B&N
Add it Goodreads

In Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust

After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.

Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.

The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon's undoing.

And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor. 

Epic! It's a rarity when the sequel is almost better than the first book, and I say that having LOVED Legacy of Kings. You can read my review here. I loved this sequel! Everything that I loved about Legacy of Kings was upped in this book, and I didn't think that was possible. 

Continuing right were Legacy of Kings leaves off, Herman thrusts readers right back into her world of magic, romance, history, and deceit. The stakes are even higher in this book, as shocking discoveries are made, and new ones are in need of answers. The twists in this series keep coming. Nothing about this story line is predictable and I love that. Some characters have changed, new relationships have formed, and the romance is perfectly developed. I love how each of the characters's live continues to intwine with each other. 

Legacy of Kings introduced us to the characters, but Empire of Dust allows us to see some of the characters for who they really are. I love how each of these characters has changed, whether for good or not. Herman continues to surprise me with her characters, and the choices they make. Now that there's a lot more at risk, loyalty is tested, love blossoms in unexpected places, broken hearts fuel a bitterness that easily leads to hate, and betrayal can easily be bought. Murder is a constant threat, shocking betrayals happen, and nothing is ever as it seems. The plot definitely thickened with this book, and it is awesome! 

Intriguing characters, and mesmorizing storytelling aside, I absolutely LOVE the history in this book. I am fascinated by Herman's ability to weave together historical references with that of fantasy elements, and create something that feels natural. I love the history that is at the heart of this series. I admire Herman's ability to not just tell a story, and bring it to life, but to bring to life history in such a way that makes you feels as though for a moment you're experiencing it first hand. It's so incredibly easy for me to get swept up in this series. If this series was endless, it still wouldn't be enough! 

Herman's writing is addicting, and it makes you wish you could just crawl inside her book and stay awhile. Empire of Dust is another epic edition to a fantasy that has it all. If I thought the ending Legacy of Kings was brutal, this ending has me wising book 3 was already in my hands! My word, I can't wait another year to find out what happens next. I need answers! 


Eleanor Herman is the New York Times bestselling author of several highly-acclaimed works of nonfiction, including Sex with Kings—a history of royal mistresses—as well as Sex with the Queen, Mistress of the Vatican, and King Peggy. Called “enlightening” by The New York Times Book Review, with prose that “sparkles” according to The Boston Globe, Eleanor’s historical nonfiction has received worldwide critical praise and was described by The Washington Post as “a lot more fun than Danielle Steel or Dan Brown.” Eleanor is also a frequent commentator in the media about royal scandals, and has hosted episodes for The History Channel’s show, Lost Worlds

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Eleanor graduated with a degree in journalism from Towson University, studied languages in Europe, and for thirteen years worked for NATO’S Nations & Partners for Peace magazine. Fascinated since childhood by the ancient world, she has visited most of the well-known sacred sites, palaces, and arenas still in existence, from Homer's Troy to the great temples of the oracles. She lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and four very dignified cats. Legacy of Kings is her first novel, and marks the beginning of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.


Thank you to Harlequin Teen, 2 winners will each receive a paper back copy of Legacy of Kings, and finished copy of Empire of Dust. *US only


Week One:
6/20/2016- The Cover ContessaInterview
6/21/2016- Zach's YA ReviewsReview
6/22/2016- Fiction FareGuest Post
6/23/2016- My So-Called Book ReviewsReview
6/24/2016- Two Chicks on BooksInterview

Week Two:
6/27/2016- Lisa Loves LiteratureReview
6/28/2016- A Dream Within A DreamGuest Post
6/29/2016- Mundie MomsReview
6/30/2016- Once Upon A TwilightReview
7/1/2016- Curling Up With A Good BookInterview

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge / Waiting on Wednesday #279

By: Rosamund Hodge

Published by: Balzer & Bray
To Be Released on: September 27, 2016
Series: Book #1
Pre-Order from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . 

I am a huge fan of retellings, and Rosamund is an author who's retellings I love. This retelling of Romeo & Juliet sounds like it's going to be a fantastic read. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this book when it releases.
What book are you waiting to get your hands on?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman / Book Review

By: Elanor Herman
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Released on: August 18th, 2015
Series: Blood of Gods and Royals, Book #1
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 stars - I loved it!
Source: arc from publisher / purchased book

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains, and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise. 
Alexander, Macedon's sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world, but finds himself drawn to a newcomer… 
Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while keeping hidden her own mission: kill the queen. But she doesn't account for her first love… 
Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.  
And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander's unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters. 
Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known, Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.
A thrilling start to an epic fantasy! This book has all the right elements; history, magic, mythology, romance, mystery, action, and betrayal. I couldn't put this book down. I loved it's mesmerizing world building, intriguing characters, and captivating story. This is an epic fantasy I enjoyed getting swept away in.

This story has a stellar cast of characters, that I really enjoyed getting to know. I really liked Alexander. I love the character he grows into. He wasn't what I was excepting, at all. Jacob is a character I immediately liked, but over the course of the story he changes in ways that really surprised me. Thankfully I liked Alexander much more than him. Heph is a character I really went back and forth on. In the end I'm torn on wanting to love him, and feel sorry for him. Then there's Zo. This girl makes some choices I don't fault her for making, but I'm left with concern for her future. 

Kat is a character I loved from the get go. She has unwavering strength and the courage that I really admired. She's what fueled this story line. I wanted to know what it was that she was trying to uncover. The magic, deception, and mystery that make up her back story, entwine her life with that of another. I loved the shocking twist she discovers at the end of the book. I love that this story is told from each of the character's points of views. It was flawless.

I love that this is a story about a young Alexander The Great. Not only was it fascinating getting a to read a story about this young historical figure, the history of the story in and of itself was mesmerizing. Herman is a master story teller, and historian. Her setting, and world building felt like a character in and of itself. I loved feeling like I was literally thrown back into time, while reading this book. This world is brutal, beautiful, and cunning. 

This book has everything I love in a well written fantasy. There's intrigue, romance, friendships that I simply adored, action, magic and so much more. I love how Herman effortlessly merges together fiction and nonfiction into this story. Her use of magic felt very natural in this story. A Legacy of Kings is a book I didn't want to end. I loved all this book gave me, and I'm eager to find out what happens in the next book. This book has set the bar high in what's to be a thrilling new series. Just be warned, once you start it, you'll quickly find yourself swept into a story you'll wish didn't have to end. 

100 Hours by Rachel Vincent / Cover Reveal / Giveaway

Hello and welcome to today's cover reveal! I am so excited to share the cover for 100 HOURS, the first book in a new trilogy by New York Times best-selling author Rachel Vincent, which releases on March 28, 2017 from Katherine Tegen Books. Along with a note from the author about her upcoming novel is an awesome giveaway! 

Check Out This Cover

By: Rachel Vincent
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
To Be Released on: March 28, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon
Add it: Goodreads 
Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.

While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t set aside their personal problems, no one will make it out alive.

A Note from Rachel Vincent

In my upcoming YA suspense 100 HOURS, Genesis and her cousin Maddie come from opposite ends of the privilege spectrum, but when they wind up kidnapped for ransom during spring break in Colombia and have no one else to count on, they discover they have more in common than either of them thought.

If you’ve read any of my previous releases, 100 HOURS probably seems like a departure for a Rachel Vincent book. And that’s what I thought, back when it was just me and an idea. But as I wrote the story and got to know the characters, I realized that even though this book is set in the Colombian jungle and these characters have no supernatural abilities, 100 HOURS is very much a book about the themes that draw me in over and over. Survival. Family friction and loyalty. High-stakes pulse-racing action. Twists, turns, secrets, and revelations. Girls who can fend for themselves—and for anyone else who needs help.

About Rachel Vincent

Photo credit: Kim Haynes Photography
Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy—but social media is a close second.

Connect with Rachel online: 
Website | Blog | Twitter| Tumblr | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Thank you to Rachel, there is a blitz-wide giveaway for…
  • ONE (1) winner will receive a SIGNED SET of a paperback copy of THE STARS NEVER RISE + an ARC of THE FLAME NEVER DIES
Giveaway is US only. Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway ends on July 11th at 11:59 PM Pacific. 

Enter in the Rafflecopter below...

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

OUT TODAY - New YA Releases For 6/28/16

Happy Book Birthday, to today's new releases!


  • The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes, Razorbill, June 28th
  • And I Darken by Kiersten White, Delacorte, June 28th
  • Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman, Harlequin Teen, June 28th
  • A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel, Harper Teen, June 28th
  • United As One by Pittacus Lore, Harper Teen, June 28th
  • Run by Kody Keplinger, Scholastic, June 28th
  • Winning by Lara Deloza, Harper Teen, June 28th
  • Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch, Random House, June 28th
  • Before We Go Extinct by Karen Rivers, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, June 28th
  • The Head of Medusa by Michelle Meadow, Dreamscape, June 29th

  • Which new releases are you looking forward to picking up?

    Monday, June 27, 2016

    Not My Cup of Tea Book Reviews: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

    By: Leah Konen
    Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
    Released on: 5/10/16
    Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
    Add it Goodreads
    Rating: 1 stars - I Didn't Like It
    I received an arc from the publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

    A passionate summer love story about a girl, her childhood best friend recently released from juvie, and the small-town lies that have kept them apart. A teen romance debut with a dark edge.
    Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July.

    Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.

    Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?

    Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.

    Sometimes you read books you connect with, and sometimes you read books that end up not being your cup of tea. This book was not my cup of tea. No matter how hard I tried to like, I couldn't get into it. I didn't connect with the story or any of the characters. Since I didn't connect with the characters, I found myself not really for some of them. Unfortunately that includes the main character Liz. 

    For much of the story Liz was a character I had a hard time with. She makes a lot of really stupid choices without any thought of consequences, which really bothered me. I wasn't expecting her to not, not make some stupid choices, as everyone does, however it was her lack of not caring who it effected, including herself, that I didn't like. Thankfully she does have consequences for her choices by the end of the book. I did like her more towards the end of the book, because she started to take ownership of herself, where for much of the book she didn't, but by the end it was too late. I wish I had seen more of that ownership earlier on. 

    Romance wise, there are relationships in this book that I had issues with. I won't elaborate much, because of the spoilers, but I will say that some things didn't seem healthy, and some things were just irritating with the love interests. There was a lot missing from the romantic relationships. I feel like I need to include, that when it comes to contemps, I am picky with the way romantic relationships are written. 

    Story wise, I don't know what it was, but this book and I didn't hit it off at all. There are times when I find that if I don't like the overall story, I like the characters or if I don't like the story, I like the characters, but in case I had a hard time liking any of it. I feel really bad for saying that. The over all story felt rushed, and at times incomplete, as was the case with the ending. Although the ending could change since I read an ARC. Over all I felt like there was a lot of potential for this story, but it fell flat for me. There was a dynamic to the story that was missing, and unfortunately not even the dark, edgy romance or the suspenseful twist could save this story. 

    *This book does contain some sex scenes & some violence

    Just because this wasn't my cup of tea, doesn't mean it won't be yours. Please check out the variety of reviews online for this book to see what others had to say about this.

    Recent YA Cover Reveals / Other Book News #CoverLove

    Last week was a huge week for cover reveals, title reveals and more! Here are some of the newest cover reveals featured last week on social media. Prepare to fall in LOVE!

    Wendy Higgins's cover for THE GREAT PURSUIT was revealed last week! Check out what Wendy said about it here. Here's a little bit about the book:

    Lochlanach has traded the great beast for something far more terrible, a Lashed enemy veiled in beauty, deception, and a vengeance passed down through generations: Rozaria Rocato. And she’s offering the hunter Paxton Seabolt power and acceptance he could never receive in his homeland. Pax must decide how far he’s willing to go under her tutelage, knowing she is the opponent of Princess Aerity Lochson. 

    In a land where traditionalists dread change, the Lochlan throne must contend with mysterious foes and traitors, while attempting to keep revolt at bay. As dire circumstances strike the royal family, matters of the castle are left in Aerity’s hands. It's time to put aside her fears and grasp the reign, taking actions that have the potential to save or destroy her people. 

    One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continue. In this sequel to The Great Hunt from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, political intrigue and romance intensify in another thrilling fantasy. Princess Aerity embraces a quest for identity and passion before making the ultimate sacrifice for her kingdom.

    Cinda Williams Chima's cover for SHADOWCASTER was revealed last week. I am in LOVE with this cover! Find out what she said about it here. Shadowcaster is the second of four novels in the Shattered Realms series. You can read more about it here. About the book:

    A Warrior Princess
    Alyssa ana’Raisa is the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of the Fells, a queendom embroiled in a seemingly endless war. Hardened by too many losses, Lyss is more comfortable with a sword in her hand than in maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, she goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn’t pay off, she could lose her queendom—and her life.
    A Young Soldier Who Hates to Lose
    Across enemy lines in Arden, rising star Captain Halston Matelon has been fighting for Arden since he was a lýtling. Lately, though, he finds himself sent on ever more dangerous assignments by a king who seems bent on destroying him. Between the deadly magic of the wolf warriors to the north and the ruthless politics at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death. 
    A Musician With the Power to Ensnare
    Breon d’Tarvos has spent his life as a street performer trying to stay on the right side of the law. This latest gig has him worried — he’s afraid that he might be enticing a young woman into a trap. But he needs the money, and he knows he’ll do it in the end.
    The Shadow of Defeat
    Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series, this is a thrilling story of the unfathomable costs of war, the allure of dark magic, and conflicted characters drawn together despite everything they are putting at risk.

    Check out this stunning cover for Roshani Chokshi's sequel, A Crown of Wishes. I love this cover! EW revealed the cover, complete with a sneak peak in the first chapter. Stop by and read it here. About the book:

    Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes – a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels. Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

    We revealed the cover for Rosalyn Eves's debut, Blood Rose Rebellion, on Mundie Moms. Stop by to find out more about the book, and enter to win, here. About the book:

    Born into high British society, Anna Arden has been groomed for a position she will never fill. Though a member of the Luminates—the ruling class who use magic to exercise power—Anna cannot perform the simplest spells. But sometimes, by accident, she breaks them. After drawing unwanted attention from the magical elite, Anna is sent from England to her family’s once powerful but now oppressed native Hungary.

    Her life might as well be over. 

    But Anna soon realizes that nothing is as it seems. The people around her hold dangerous secrets—from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor to the magic-wielding Luminates. The society she’s known all her life is crumbling into discontent. And her lack of magic may mean more than she imagines. 

    In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique powers and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her gift, spark a rebellion, and change the world forever.

    Blood Rose Rebellion is the first in a new fantasy trilogy bursting with magic, romance, and danger.

    Another great cover reveal featured last week was for Heidi Heilig's sequel, The Ship Beyond Time. Check out the reveal here, and find out more about the book below:

    Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father?

    Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. The sequel—and conclusion—to the indie darling The Girl from Everywhere will be devoured by fans of Rachel Hartman and Maggie Stiefvater. 

    In other exciting book news, long awaited book titles were also revealed last week. Check out the news below:

    Epic Reads revealed the title for the third book in Victoria Aveyard's 
    The Red Queen series! 

    Thank you to EW, fans can read an excerpt from the highly anticipated release of GEMINA! 

    I know it's not a cover reveal or title reveal, but like many readers, I'm excited to read this sequel! Check it out here

    Saturday, June 25, 2016

    #BEA16 Recap / Giveaway!

    It's been over a month since I was at BEA, and I still feel like I've not come down from that high of such a fun week. I realize my recap is way late... but better late than never, and I've been meaning to get my post, and now that school is out, I can. BEA16 was in Chicago this year, and it was so much fun! This is my third year going to BEA, and this was the most fun I've ever had at BEA. I had amazing roommates (Heidi from YA Bibliophile, Sara from Novel Novice & Amber from Me, My Shelf & I), connected with some amazing people, reconnected with fabulous friends, and had a lovely time at the publisher events I attended. This was also the first year I moderated at BEA, as well as participated in and attend Blogger Con. Both were so much fun! WARNING, this post is long. Sorry! I even edited a ton out of it. 


    The day in which we all arrived to Chicago. It was also the day that have after years of being online friends, Sara (Novel Novice) and I finally met in person! It was also the day in which I finally got to see Emmaly (who is our MM's Forum) again, and her SIL Alison! Both flew in from Australia to come to BEA! I loved seeing them. Myself, Sara, Em, and Alison all went to a White Sox game. Wrigley Field is AWESOME! We had such a blast at the game! 


    Wednesday kicked off with a few of us bloggers getting together for breakfast. Heidi and I met up with friends, grabbed breakfast, visited with a few other bloggers whom were also at the same place, and then we headed out to explore parts of Chicago. We ended up going to the Zoo, which was seriously so much fun. The park the Zoo is apart of is beautiful! I was really surprised at what a beautiful city Chicago is, and it's so clean too. 

    BEA kicked off with the Blogger Con, which took place the day before BEA started. This year I had the previlleage for being a round table discussion leader with Lexxie of UnconventionalBookViews. Our table discussion was about "balancing personal life and blogging". I had a lot of fun during our round tables. It was so great to meet Lexxie too! She is awesome. 


    My evening ended with an amazing publisher dinner with Disney. This was seriously one of the most memorable publisher events I've been to. The intimate dinner took place in a place called the Library, it's stunning! I loved meeting so many wonderful people I've had the chance of working with over years with Disney, as well as seeing friends again. They have an amazing team at Disney!  *Pictured above from left to right: Myself w/ Alexandra Bracken, and Eoin Colfer / Myself with Mo Willems and Ryan T. Higgins 

    During the dinner they celebrated the 25th anniversary of Disney Hyperion, as well as Mo Willems 25 years of writing books! I don't think they could have brought together a more wonderful group of authors. The laughs were nonstop! I haven't laughed so hard in such a long time.  Mo, Eoin, Shannon and Dean Hale,  Melissa de la Cruz, Sara Sheppard, Alexandra Bracken, Ryan T. Higgins, Dan Santat, and Laurie Keller each talked about their upcoming releases, and some took turns razing each other, which was hysterical.  
    *Pictured above: Disney Royalty: Alexandra Bracken, Shannon Hale, Melissa de la Cruz & Sara Shepard  

    Mo Willems getting a piggy back ride from Dean Hale. Don't ask.... you seriously had to have been there to get why this was so funny. 

    Thank you to Disney for an unforgettable night! Definitely add these Disney goodies to your TBR lists! They're going to be great! 


    This year I didn't take a signing schedule with me. There only a few arcs I was hoping to get, and I was lucky to have made it into each of those signing lines. The two hours I waited inline for A Torch Against The Night, was totally worth it! Between authors events, and signings, I lucked out and received the few arcs I really hoping to get. Other than that, I felt like I was saying no thank you, vs saying thank you, when it came to taking arcs. Not that those arcs were bad or anything, but I had limited space flying home, and couldn't afford to ship a ton home. To be honest, it was great not being caught up in what I got or didn't get. If I hadn't gotten the few arcs I was really hoping for, BEA would have still been just as fun. 

    What I love about BEA is networking. I love connecting with publicists, fellow bloggers, online friends, and reconnecting with those I've known for years. It's what makes the BEA experience totally worth it, and the purpose of my attending. Some of the best network happens at publisher events, and while waiting in line for a signing. I had such a blast at the publisher events this year. *Pictured above: books from the Simon Teen breakfast (I loved listening to the authors talk about their upcoming releases)

    Another thing I loved, were the publisher parties! They were so much fun this year. They're always fun, but this year seemed different. I felt like they were more intimate, and laid back. It was so great visiting with those I've worked with for so long within each publishing house, as well as visiting with author friends, meeting new authors, and seeing so many wonderful blogger / online friends. *Pictured above from the Fierce Reads party: authors Kami Garcia, Marissa Meyer, Caleb Roehrig, and Leigh Bardugo, bloggers: Andye from Reading Teen, myself and Heidi. 


    The night kicked off with a party hosted by Bloomsbury. We had so much fun! Heidi, Sara and I all went together. We visited with friends, authors who were there like Elizabeth Eulberg, and Danielle Paige, and those who work tirelessly behind the scenes at Bloomsbury. Check out some of their upcoming releases, and add them to your TBR lists! 


    After Bloomsbury, we all headed over to the Fierce Reads party. This party was so much fun! It was so great to mingle with book friends, authors, and the wonderful people who work so hard behind the scenes at Fierce Reads. Their Photo Booth was a blast! We might have all had a little too much fun with it. I love these photo booth pictures, and the one above with the Fierce Reads authors. 

    Check out Fierce Reads's upcoming releases featured at the BEA party, and add them to your TBR lists! I am so excited about these reads! 

    Sadly I didn't take any pictures at the Big Hancho party that was after the Fierce Reads one. That was a lot of fun as well. It was fun getting to spend the evening with so many wonderful book promoters. From the publishers, to book reviews, to you tubers and so forth. It's such a wonderful, diverse group of book pushers. 


    What made this year's BEA stand out among the rest, was being invited to moderate the Tor Teen Panel at BEA. Surviving Fictional Worlds with Tor Teen, featured Susan Dennard, Kristen Simmons and Sarah Porter. These ladies are so absolutely fabulous! 

    I loved moderating this panel with these ladies! I've had the pleasure of meeting both Susan and Kristen previously, and it was great meeting Sarah. We had a lot of fun on our panel! Thank you to everyone who came out. 

    A huge thank you to Tor Teen, Susan, Kristen and Sarah for such a memorable day! This was one of the most fun events I've moderated. 

    I love it when I get to catch up with authors I've known for years, and get to meet those I've known on line, but haven't met in person before. BEA is the perfect place to social with authors. I seriously adore my author friends. I normally don't fangirl, but when Hannah (Irish Banana) and I spotted Jay Kristoffer walking around on the floor, we had to go introduce ourselves, I might have fangirled a little bit. He was seriously just as cool in person as he is online. I also loved having a few minutes to catch up with another I seriously adore, Jennifer Armentrout. I also covet her awesome hair! 

    I had the most fun with my roommates! We had such a blast together. We all had fun doing our own things, as well as doing things together, and with other friends, like Em, Allison and Emily. Of course what happens at BEA, stays at BEA, but I will say that we made a lot of memories, and laughed so hard our stomachs hurt the next day. I loved that I had roommates who loved to have fun. We closed down BEA by meeting Rosemary Wells who was signing a children's book, and we of course had to take a picture with the dinosaur from The Magic Tree House series. *Pictured above: Sara, Myself and Amber

    Amber, Myself, and Sara. We totally missed Heidi in this picture! 


    Book Con was not as crazy as it normally was in the years I attend in NYC. It was so much nicer having more room here in Chicago. While I didn't have a lot of time at Book Con, because I had a flight to catch, I loved that I still got to see a few friends before I left, and quickly walk the floor. It's always fabulous seeing Maggie Stiefvater. I snapped a quick pic of her before her signing kicked off. I always LOVE seeing Cassie! Time was on my side that day, as Cassie Clare arrived prior to when I had to leave. Sadly I missed her panel, but I loved that I got to spend a few minutes seeing her. I also loved meeting Ursula Uriarte and seeing Kami Garcia again too! Along with Cassie, we all visited for a bit in the Greenroom before their panels. 

    This picture is one I love, because I'm the only non-Aussie. Em, Alison and I were walking the floor during Book Con, and ran into Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.  It was so great meeting Amie! This is a stellar group of people! 

    Over all, this year was the most fun I've had at BEA. Between my roommates, those I spent time around, the events at and surrounding BEA/Blogger Con, and taking time to really enjoy the city all made for more memorable trip! Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I finally felt like I knew how to just enjoy the convention, and all it offers, vs getting caught up with everything there is do while at BEA. This year I finally felt like I got it. Don't get me wrong, my first two experiences at BEA in NYC were a lot of fun, and I did some pretty incredible things I never thought I'd be able to do, and made some great memories in process. Sadly I don't think I'll be able to make it to next year's BEA, because it's taking place during the last week of school for my kids, however, I highly recommend attending BEA at least once, if you can. It's so worth it!

    THANK YOU to BEA, Blogger Con, Book Con, the publishers, and authors who all put so much heart and time into this year's events! 


    What BEA the most fun, was this year I made sure that each day I took some time to enjoy Chicago. It was my first time being to the city (the airport doesn't count), and though we weren't close to anything, we used Lyft and Uber to get around town, (though I would recommend Lyft over Uber any day. They were nicer and cheaper than Uber). From having breakfasts with friends, to walking through the city parks, seeing 'the bean', Buckingham Fountains, the zoo, and going to Wrigley field to see a Cubs game. Every day I took the time to really enjoy the city, and connect with friends. Not saying I didn't do that in NYC, because I did, but this time it was different. I took the time to do that each day. Some days we were out and about for a hour, or two, and other days it was for a few hours in the evening. I took a ton of pictures, most of which I shared on my personal Instagram account. I seriously fell in love with Chicago. I loved that I had travel buddies with me. Heidi, Sara, Em, Alison, Emily, and Andye, I loved touring the city with you guys!


    I know how exciting it is to attend BEA, and I know what it's like to wish you could attend. In the 7.5 years I've been blogging, I've spent more years wishing I could go, then I've actually been. It's a blast being around fellow bloggers/readers, and it's exciting when you get an arc you've been coveting, where from a publisher event, or signing. Today's giveaway features some of the arcs I was really excited to receive at BEA. Each of these arcs are ones I received in the mail after I had already received them at BEA. I specifically put these arcs together to giveaway, because these are the arcs I was excited to receive myself to read. Why so many? Well if you had gone to BEA, chances are you would have gone home with a great selection of arcs yourself, so why not give the chance for someone to win a collection of some of the most highly anticipated arcs at BEA. 


    I want to thank each of the publishers who generously sent me these arcs/chapter samplers, and provided me with the chance to share in the book love with another fellow reader. 

    1 Winner Will Receive ARCS for: 

    • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
    • A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir 
    • Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman
    • Frost Blood by Elly Blake
    • Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
    • The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker
    • The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
    • A chapter sampler of Stranger The Dreamer by Laini Taylor 
    I would love to open this internationally, the cost for shipping a box this size over seas is unfortunately not something I'm able to cover at this time. While this giveaway is open to residents in the US, I'm more than happy to accept an international winner, provided you cover the shipping costs. I'm working on putting together an swag giveaway that will include a chapter sample, signed swag and more, which will be up soon, and open internationally!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    GOOD LUCK and Happy reading! If you're looking for some great upcoming middle grade reads, check out my feature for the mg books I received at BEA, here